Verena & Ian


Verena & Ian

Hi, we are Verena and Ian from Germany and UK (yes, a bit of sauerkraut and a bit of pie).
Verena is from Frankfurt, Germany but lives currently in Berlin whereas Ian is from Brighton, UK.
If you ask yourself how we met each other, well than we can tell you our very romanctic story.
Once upon a time, or to be more precise on 4 October 2008 in beautiful Munich or again to be more precise in a big tent at the Oktoberfest we met each other. It is very hard to say if it was love at first sight after a few litres of beer, but it was very much something like that.
After some ups and downs in our relationship and our jobs we decided to keep our relationship but get rid of our jobs and start something new.
Our plan is to travel around Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, China, Tibet, Nepal, India and Australia) and if possible stay and work at one place or another for a little while or maybe a little bit longer...
As we give more or less everything up here (well, of course I am only referring to the materialistic things) we are very open towards suggestions and opportunities we will find on the way. Who knows what will happen, maybe we will be back soon - or maybe not 😊.

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu October 15th 2011

It's been a few weeks since the last time I updated the blog so as you can imagine a lot has been happening again. But that is also the beauty about travelling, life is just never standing still and there is not very much of a routine. I am not saying that routine is something bad, its comfortable and maybe sometimes necessary in order to concentrate on things, but sometimes its just nice to break away from it all and experience loads of new things. So here an overview of what has been happening: After two weeks of working as an English kindergarten teacher I had enough and quit. Yeah, I know I am getting quite good at this. However, I only realized after taking the job that this was not what I wanted to do ... read more
Wenshu Temple, Chengdu
Old quarter, Chengdu

Asia » China » Beijing » Lama Temple August 29th 2011

We are more than 6 weeks in China now. Again, time has been flying. After a long bus trip from Hanoi to Nanning (a 3 million city in Southern China which probably hardly anyone has ever heard of, including us) we were already facing the first difficulties. No one spoke any English, and I mean no one!! So the taxi driver from the bus stop dropped us off at the wrong hotel (not to forget that we even showed him the address in Chinese characters) a nice 4 star place... not the place for us with our big dirty backpacks ;). However, there was one lady there who spoke a little bit of English and she helped us locating our 2 star hotel which was just on the other side of the city. Great! So we ... read more
The standard equipment of a Chinese hotel room?!
Chinese driving school
The only photo from Nanning... maybe not too picturesque

Asia » Vietnam » Red River Delta » Hanoi July 15th 2011

Finally again a little time to update the blog. Although we are in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, now it seems that the internet connections here are the worst we have experienced so far. We even changed hotels hoping to have better internet access - but no! We have covered quite a few kilometres the last few weeks. From Nah Trang we went on a sleeper bus to Hoi An. The trip takes around 10hours but although we heard really bad stories from other travellers we were quite positively surprised. Even Ian (whose body height is definitely not comparable to the usual Vietnamese) found a nice little bed cuddled up with 5 other travellers. From there we went on another 5 hour bus trip to Hue (the old capital) and from there we went all the ... read more
Hoi An houses in the old town

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City June 20th 2011

So we are on our way to Vietnam and very excited about it. Ian has never been there before and I only visited the South, so hopefully a lot of new and exciting things to discover. We arrive in Saigon or formally known as Ho Chi Minh City during peak hour. Our first impression on the cab from the airport is: CHOAS. The traffic is manic and unfortunately we are not very lucky with our cab driver who, although he promised to take us on the meter, decides to ask us for 4 times the usual price ("very far and lots of traffic"). After a long discussion with no progess ("ok, meter than you buy ticket" "what ticket??") we have to get another cab. This time the driver takes us without any problems to Pham Ngu ... read more
Ben Thanh Market, Saigon
War museum, Saigon
Picture of girl in the war

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Railay June 16th 2011

Finally we are on our way to Krabi, or actually Ton Sai, where we've already wanted to go a few days ago. So after a 3 hour bus ride to Krabi, another 40 minutes taxi trip to Ao Nang and a 15 minutes boat trip to Ton Sai we are there. On the beach we have no difficulty, as always, to find someone who can show us a bungalow. This time however we are surprised that the bungalow they offer us is only 200 baht (approx. 5Euro) a night. That would be the cheapest we had so far. So we jump on some sort of motorbike and a friendly, slightly stoned Thai guy is driving us around (while my bum is almost killing me sitting on this vehicle). He first showed us his own bungalows which ... read more
In Ao Nang. Waiting for our boat to Ton Sai
East Railay Beach

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Khao Lak June 7th 2011

Time for our visa run as our Thai tourist visa is only valid for 4 weeks - and believe it or not, we have already been away for 4 weeks now. So from Khao Sok we get on the bus to Takua Pa and then on another bus to Ranong, a city of around 30.000 people right at the Thai/Burmese border. As a typical border city there is all sort of trade (legal and illegal) going on here... As we get off the bus we follow one girl advertising a place called Palmy House and as we have no clue where to go (did I mention that we travel without travel guide this time -which does make the whole trip a little more exciting but sometimes also a little more chaotic) we follow her. The guesthouse ... read more
Boats before crossing at the Thai border
On the way to Myanmar
Beach in Khao Lak

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Khao Sok NP June 1st 2011

After quite a good sleep on the not so comfortable looking nightboat (well, the toilet was awful) we arrive in Suratthani. Then: wait, taxi to other waiting place, wait, taxi to travel agency where we supposed to book accomodation for Khao Sok(which we didnt), wait and then finally minibus to Khao Sok National Park - one of the oldest, evergreen rainforests in the world. As we arrive we get a big hello: Oh, come and look my bungalow, very cheap and close to river. Around 4 Thai hotel owners (or agents working for the hotel owners) are all over us. Its low season here at the moment and the start of the wet season. So of course everyone is fighting for tourists... We decide to have a can of ice coffee first and then go and ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Tao May 26th 2011

All of a sudden 2,5 weeks gone by and... we are still here. Im not quite sure how this happenend but well, sometimes you just have to go with the flow :) After a long and rather uncomfortable bus journey (well, especially for tall people) and a few hours on a boat we finally arrived on Koh Tao. As we were really tired we just jumped on one of the taxis at the pier and ended up in Sairee, the main beach and probably not the most beautiful. However, plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from (most of them serving anything from Thai dishes to pizza, tapas and English breakfast - yeah, exactly the kind of food you expect in such a tropical location ;)). Due to the fact that its low season at the ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok May 6th 2011

Verena: After a long flight and some quite surprisingly good airplane food we arrived in Bangkok. Hot, sweaty and smelly as it used to be and: I still love it. The first scam at the airport: ohh, standard rate for taxi but very cheap for you: 450 baht... ah well, hello Bangkok ;) Checked into our hotel which is close by to Khao San Rd. Really nice place with air-con and balcony... well, a little treat for the start. After a little nap we went to Khao San Rd for a walk around and having a very expensive dinner. Yes, prices changed a little here... especially those big backpackers and restaurants (apparently owned by the Thail mafia) but other than that still more or less the same... you want tuk tuk? you want massage? you want ... read more

Verena writing: All of a sudden time is just flying. I moved out of my apartment in Berlin after fighting with the landlords over my deposit, saying goodbye to everyone in Berlin and moved back to my parents... yes, here we go again: hotel Mama :) After a few nice but not too relaxing days (saying goodbye to everyone and unpacking the Berlin boxes as well as packing the travel bags) I flew to the UK on 29th of March. Mum driving me to the airport in Cologne... although I am quite used to saying goodbye nowadays, its still sometimes hard leaving your loved ones behind. Spending the last few days before our flight to Bangkok in Brighton with Ian and his family where I started to become a cricket expert thanks to Ian's dad. Very ... read more

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